Regional News - Australia/Oceania December 2017

Mineralogy Wins Pilbara Royalty Suit

ABC News reported that Clive Palmer’s Mineralogy has won a claim with Australia’s Supreme Court for $149.4 million in unpaid royalties against two Citic Pacific subsidiaries over a Pilbara iron ore project. Justice Kenneth Martin ruled Mineralogy’s claim for unpaid royalties against Sino Iron and Korean Steel had been established. He also found the claims against Citic, as guarantor for Sino and Korean debts, remained to be determined.

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Mining Cities Alliance Will Back Growth, Development

The mayors of the mining cities of Mount Isa, Kalgoorlie-Boulder, and Broken Hill are challenging bureaucracies to cut red tape and back development and jobs growth in regional Australia through the formation of the Australian Mining Cities Alliance. Alliance Chair Kalgoorlie-Boulder Mayor John Bowler said the objective of the alliance is to share knowledge and experience and to strengthen relationships with the mining industry across Australia.

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Artemis Refurbishing Radio Hill Concentrator

Artemis Resources has begun refurbishing the Radio Hill concentrator 35 kilometers (km) south of Karratha, Western Australia, with the goal of establishing it as a multi-commodity processing facility for its regional mines. The plant, which Artemis acquired from Fox Resources in April, has been on care and maintenance since 2008. Karratha is a small city of about 20,000 that adjoins the port of Dampier in northwest Western Australia.

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OZ Minerals Initiates PFS at West Musgrave

OZ Minerals reported in mid-November that it is proceeding to next stage of its earn-in agreement with Cassini Resources on their West Musgrave nickel project in eastern Western Australia. A pre-feasibility study (PFS) has been initiated whereby OZ can earn a 51% interest in the project by spending $19 million within 18 months. The project is located 20 kilometers (km) from the town of Jameson, which is serviced by a commercial-grade airstrip and mobile telecommunications.

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Regional News - Australia/Oceania November 2017

First Ore Mined at Mount Morgans Beresford Underground

Dacian Gold has achieved another key development milestone at its Mount Morgans gold project, located 25 kilometers (km) southwest of Laverton in Western Australia, with underground mine development at Beresford intersecting first ore on October 4, four weeks ahead of schedule.

Underground mining commenced at Beresford in mid-May and, by the end of September, 1,837 meters (m) of underground development had been completed compared with the feasibility study schedule of 1,509 m, a total of 328 m ahead of schedule.

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Proposed WA Royalty Increase Blocked in Parliament

A plan to increase the royalty on gold produced in Western Australia (E&MJ, October 2017, p. 18), announced in early August by the state’s Labor government, was voted down in the Western Australia Parliament on October 10 by a coalition of the opposition Liberal party and several minority parties. The government had planned to raise gold royalties from 2.5% to 3.75% from January 2018 in an attempt to raise almost A$400 million for use in curtailing the state’s debt, which, according to a report in WAtoday, is expected to peak at around A$43.8 billion by 2020.

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Construction Activity Begins at Heron’s Woodlawn Project

Heron Resources has initiated construction activity at its Woodlawn zinc-copper-lead redevelopment project 250 kilometers (km) southwest of Sydney, New South Wales, Australia. Ertech, which has the earthworks contract, is fully mobilized, including 45 personnel and a fleet of four scrapers, two bull dozers, five excavators, nine dump trucks and a variety of other support machines.

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Regional News - Australia/Oceania October 2017

Cadia East PC1 Production Begins Again

The remediation and upgrade work required to recommence use of Cadia East’s Panel Cave 1 (PC1) crusher chamber has been completed to a standard consistent with Newcrest’s emphasis on safe, strong and sustainable operations. Extraction of ore has now recommenced from two extraction drives in PC1, the company said.

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Western Australia Hikes Royalty on Gold Production

The government of Western Australia announced in early August that from January 1, 2018, a tiered royalty rate will be introduced on gold production in the state, with the royalty rate determined by the Australian dollar price of gold. The current 2.5% rate will apply for each month when the gold spot price (averaged over a month) is A$1,200/ounce (oz) or less, and an increased rate of 3.75% will apply when the spot price is above A$1,200/oz. At the time of the announcement, the price of gold in Australia was about A$1,660/oz.

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Regional News - Australia/Oceania September 2017

Red 5 Planning Western Australia Gold Production Hub

Red 5 Ltd. has announced separate agreements to acquire the operating Darlot gold mine from Gold Fields Ltd. and the advanced King of the Hills gold project from West Australian gold producer Saracen Mineral Holdings. Both assets are located in West Australia’s Eastern Goldfields, about 900 kilometers (km) northeast of Perth, with King of the Hills located about 80 km south of Darlot.

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Heron Orders Plant Equipment for Woodlawn

Heron Resources has placed orders for a number of equipment items that are on the critical path for development of its Woodlawn zinc-copper-lead project 250 kilometers (km) southwest of Sydney, New South Wales. Orders for the equipment followed an analysis of the development schedule aimed at identifying the long-lead items on the critical path to first production. The items are integral to the processing facility and include an IsaMill M10000 fine grinding mill (value US$4.4 million), Outotec flotation cells (value A$4.9 million), and Outotec thickeners (value A$1.2 million.) The IsaMill M10000 product name indicates the volume of the grinding chamber, 10,000 liters.

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